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Exam Cram: April 25, 2024

Learning Commons


The Learning Commons offers FREE study support to any Kirkwood student enrolled in credit classes. See the Learning Commons website to explore the wide array of free services and study spaces they provide every day!

Exam Strategies

These strategies for taking exams come from the library eBook: Study Skills Strategies: Get the Most From Every Minute of Learning, available to all Kirkwood students with a k number and password.

For objective tests:

  • Answer easiest questions first.
  • Underline key words in each question.
  • Cross out answers you’ve eliminated.
  • Be alert for words such as always and never.
  • Ensure that the grammatical structure of the answer is consistent with the question.
  • If there’s no penalty for guessing, answer every question.

For essay exams:

  • Anticipate questions the instructor might ask.
  • Sketch a variety of outline responses to model questions.
  • Practice writing sample essays.
  • Analyze the entire test, and budget your time before beginning to write.
  • Read each question carefully, and underline key words.
  • Create an informal cluster outline of your response before starting to write. If you choose, you can simply number your main points.
  • Strive for a focused essay, tightly organized and supported with facts.
  • Make sure your paragraphs have main ideas (topic sentences) and a thesis (central idea). Be sure your topic sentences relate to the thesis in your introductory paragraph in an organized way that parallels the ideas in the thesis statement.
  • Use a paragraph structure that goes with the essay test question. Use the key words in the question as your guide.
  • Add a conclusion to your essay or paragraph. The conclusion should relate to the essay test question.

Lengefeld, Uelaine A. Study Skills Strategies : Get the Most From Every Minute of Learning. 4th ed, Axzo Press, 2009.

from the chapter "Exam Strategies"

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